One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The wood of an olive tree, especially of Olea europaea var. europaea, used chiefly in ornamental work.
2Caribbean. A tropical American evergreen shrub or small tree, Capparis odoratissima (family Capparidaceae).
3Woodland or a wood consisting wholly or chiefly of olive trees. Now chiefly poetic.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Nehemiah Grew (a1641–1712), botanist and physician. From olive + wood.
olive wood/ˈɒlɪv ˌwʊd/
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